The MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine strives to maintain a leading position in the field of biomedical engineering by combining creative research with training a generation of interdisciplinary scientists. MERLN’s activities operate at the interface of biology, engineering and medicine to maximise impact at the level of public involvement and the commercialisation of research. MERLN’s vision is based on sharing knowledge, infrastructure, and ambition.
Brightlands is an open innovation community in a global context, connecting four campuses in the province of Limburg: in Maastricht, Heerlen, Sittard-Geleen and Venlo. The campuses provide entrepreneurs, scientists and students state-of-the-art facilities to support development, education, innovation and growth. Naturally, there are close links between all four Brightlands campuses, and together they enable Limburg to serve as an innovation region where researchers and entrepreneurs take on the major challenges in the areas of materials, health, food and smart services.
Scientists from the MERLN Institute and the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) have successfully created in the laboratory embryo-like structures from mouse stem cells. These model embryos resemble natural ones to the extent that, for the first time, they implant into the uterus and initiate pregnancy. This radically new method opens the door to understanding the first and hidden processes of life, problems of infertility, or the embryonic origin of diseases. This scientific breakthrough has been published in Nature. >> read the complete news article.
Research at MERLN is focused on developing and employing breakthrough technologies to advance the repair and regeneration of both tissues and organs. The strategy includes, amongst others, the development of “smart” biomaterials that can trigger intrinsic tissue repair mechanisms mediated by the patient’s own cells.
MERLN’s scientists are involved in educational activities within different undergraduate and graduate programmes as well as in the supervision of students performing research projects. They use their expertise in biology, chemistry, materials science and engineering, with distinct emphasis on biomedical applications, including regenerative medicine.
“Our overarching goal is to create new solutions for regenerative medicine and understand the fundamental phenomena at the base of the observed regenerative processes.”
"Intelligently designed synthetic biomaterials that can regulate the regeneration of damaged organs and tissues in the body are the future of regenerative medicine. Indeed, we need creativity in materials science and engineering to make regenerative strategies affordable for everybody."
“Our research aims at further developing and innovating a competitive research line including translational aspects in the field of molecular and cellular regenerative medicine.”
Almost 150,000 people in the Netherlands suffer from type 1 diabetes. Aart van Apeldoorn, diabetes researcher at the Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (MERLN), hopes to do away with the insulin syringe by means of an implant known as the ‘tea bag’